Although Severus had put a calming potion in Potter’s breakfast, he should have fed him one whilst he slept.
Potter glared at the Veritaserum. “I’m not taking that.”
“You agreed to the plan,” Severus reminded him.
His eyes mere slits, Potter asked, “How do I know that there is no meeting tomorrow and you aren’t just giving it to me now to make me spill my secrets?”
Bloody hell, he really didn’t have time for this after he’d promised a perfect performance. “Honestly, Potter... If I were planning on giving you Veritaserum in order to know all your darkest secrets, I’d simply tip a few drops in your food. After the potion had taken effect, I’d ask my questions and Obliviate all trace of the memory. You’d be none the wiser. I certainly have no need to craft elaborate stories. You will do this willingly or I will Confound you as I did Avery. It is too late for you to renege now, and I will not die because you changed your mind.”
“If you can Confound me, then why don’t you just do that?” asked Potter petulantly.
This child! He always found a way to be difficult! “Because I fear it would destroy that wasteland you call your mind.”
Slamming his fists on the table, Potter yelled, “Don’t talk to me like that!”
“Then stop acting like a child!”
Potter leapt to his feet, his face twisted and his body shaking. “Stop treating me like one!”
“I haven’t!” Severus stood as well, his wand ready. “But I see now-”
“You took my memories!”
“To protect you. You-”
“No! You tried to convince me that I’d asked you to take them. You did it for yourself.” Potter slammed his hands against the table again.
“I did no such thing!” he lied. “I merely asked you-”
“You did! You insinuated!”
“Fine,” Severus had to acknowledge. “Do you think I enjoy watching you cry? I-”
“You’re thick!” Fearing that they’d start throwing dishes, Severus cleared the table. “I should’ve known acts of kindness were wasted on you, you-”
“Acts of kindness?” asked Potter, his voice incredulous.
“Yes!” Severus advanced on him. “Do you think I drink pumpkin juice? Or eat shit like treacle tarts? Do you think I eagerly give books from my personal library to an obnoxious brat who shredded one that-” your mother “-my mother gave me?” Potter fell back on the bed. “I do these things so that you will train instead of whinging, and it has got me nowhere. I shouldn’t have bothered trying to make you happy. I should’ve drugged you defenceless, Imperio’d you, then forced you to train!”
His mouth shut for once, Potter stared up at him with an expression that held more surprise than fear.
Calming himself, Severus straightened. “I will not die because of you. You agreed to this plan yesterday and you will go through it by force or by choice.” Snatching up the vial of Veritaserum, he held it out to Potter.
“You were always planning on training me?”
He hadn’t trained him to do anything other than to recognise a few spells. “What do you think, Potter?”
“Why didn’t you do it at Hogwarts?”
And risk revealing the double life he led? “If you had mastered Occlumency, then perhaps I would’ve.”
The guilt worked. The green softened and Potter stared at the table.
Returning to his chair, Severus waited.
Finally, Potter left the bed and took the other chair. “Look, stop trying to manipulate me into things and just tell me why you want me to do them. I’m not as stupid as you seem to think.”
That remained to be seen.
Albus settled into his chair. “How has Harry taken to the training?”
“Remarkably well,” said Severus, still a bit shocked by how far they’d come. “He told me that he belonged here. I’d be hard pressed to say that under Veritaserum.”
“You’ve given him hope and a plan.”
Sucking in a breath to steady himself, Severus said, “I’m giving the Dark Lord a completed clone. I’m telling him that I’ll probably need to work on it in the future, but that it should be self-sustaining.”
Albus’s eyebrows drew in together. “Severus, please-”
“You can’t ask more of him,” said Severus firmly. “It’s been over two months and we still have no idea where that Diadem is. The Dark Lord still needs a spell to remove Potter’s soul-”
“What if he has one?”
“He might,” he acknowledged. “But most of the spells involving soul transfer that I’ve seen require consent. He doesn’t have Potter’s consent without me.”
“Ah...” Albus settled back in his chair, stroking his beard. “I wondered why he seemed so intent on having you form an alliance with Harry.”
“I imagine he wants me to cast something like the Sacred Bond of Thebes.”
His eyes sharpening, Albus asked, “Could you cast that spell?”
“I’d have to love Potter,” Severus reminded him. “There’s probably a different spell that doesn’t involve love. I’m not sure how the Dark Lord would prevent his Horcrux from being destroyed, but he might be able to temporarily kill Potter’s body, locking Potter’s soul to my body. If he killed me before he restored Potter’s body, we’d both die, leaving the Horcrux alone. He might also plan to somehow have a clone fall in love with the bit of Horcrux, causing the Horcrux to attach to the clone’s body at the moment of Potter’s death.”
For several seconds, Albus just sat there, staring at Severus, horrified. “And you’re willing to give him a clone?”
“I don’t think a clone can fall in love. It’s not a person. The Imperius Curse doesn’t work on it. Anyway, the Castiel spell sounds more promising, but, again, I don’t see how he would separate out the two souls and, as far as I know, he still hasn’t located a full copy. I’m certainly not trying the spell until I see a complete version.” He glanced at the mirror. “Potter’s nearly finished his dinner. I should return.”
“Update me on the interview as soon as you can.”
“I will,” promised Severus as he re-sized the portrait and shoved it into his robes. He stood, removed the chair he’d conjured, then blinked away the time spent with Albus before stepping out of the bathroom. As the Dark Lord didn’t bother with the toilet scenes, he’d found it was the best place to hide his chats with Albus.
As it would be difficult to get Potter out of his clothes, when he stepped into Potter’s section of the cellar, he suggested, “Now we will attempt to train you in Occlumency whilst you are relaxed. After you finish your meal, go to the bathroom and draw up a bath to your preference.”
As expected, Potter didn’t like that idea. “Can’t I do it while on the bed?”
“I intend to launder your sheets.” He stepped into Potter’s cage to collect them. Then, to prepare the boy, he added, “We should perform tonight.”
They both avoided each other as Severus did the laundry and Potter finished his meal before heading off to the bathroom. Once Severus was certain enough time had passed for Potter to cover himself with bubbles, he entered the bathroom.
“Are you relaxed?” he asked as he Summoned the chair to his side.
“As I’ll ever be,” muttered Potter.
Reaching into his robes, Severus removed the quasi-Veritaserum he’d brewed whilst working on the Clone Potion. “This potion mimics all the effects of Veritaserum, except for its truth-inducing capabilities. It is also easier to Occlude against. We will practise with this first before moving on to Veritaserum.” He handed it to Potter, who gulped it down, pulling a face at the taste.
Sitting down, Severus watched Potter’s face closely.
Potter’s eyes, narrowed and hard, slowly softened and widened. Light pink spread over his cheeks and his lips twisted in a dopey smile. “’Snice.”
“Now close your mind. Stop me from penetrating your defences. Release your emotions...” He gave him a moment to do that before he cast, “Legilimens!” and pushed inside. Potter’s memories swam unguarded easy for perusing. Retreating, he reminded him, “Focus, Potter. Clear your mind. Rid it off all emotion. Are you ready?”
His brow furrowing, Potter said, “Okay....”
It wasn’t the best assurance, but it was all he had. He tried again. And again. And again.
“Potter!” he snapped. “Are you even trying? You should be making at least some progress, but your mind remains as unguarded as ever!”
Gormlessly, Potter said, “I’ve never done it.”
Although Potter thought himself better at Occlumency than he was, he had successfully done it. “You’ve accomplished Occlumency before, although-”
“No, not Occlumency,” said Potter in a dreamy voice. “Emptying my mind. I’ve never done it.”
He had, he just didn’t remember, the idiot. “I don’t see why not since it is so empty to begin with.”
Picking up the vial, Potter offered it to Severus with a tilted smile. “This will make you feel better.”
Perhaps he’d been given too much; he was even more of a dunderhead than usual. Plucking the potion from Potter’s fingers, he pocketed it. “How have you been able to Occlude if you don’t empty your mind of emotion?”
Helplessly, Potter shrugged. “I build walls. That’s what I did against him. I hide behind them.” Bending forward, he stared at Severus with what he probably imagined to be a serious expression and tapped his temple.
“I see...” Did the Horcrux have something to do with it? Had Potter found a way to hide behind one of the constructs Severus had created for the Horcrux? “Then build your walls against me. Do whatever you need to do in order to stop me from entering your mind.”
“Legilimens!” Nothing but the walls he’d constructed earlier and broken memories. “Interesting....” How did Potter do that? He had his magic, but Severus had never heard of a different method of Occluding and Potter shouldn’t have been able to access the barriers trapping Tom. “Again. Legilimens!” No memories to view. If only Potter knew enough magic to explain the process! Did the Dark Lord know this? “Very good. Now, do it without showing concentration on your face. Legilimens!”
Ever an open book, Potter didn’t manage to control his facial features that time or the next.
As he had to return to his lab if he were to finish the Clone Potion that evening, Severus conjured a mirror for Potter to practise in whilst he left to refit the bed. It had been too long since he’d last got a chance to slide into that sweet arse and, although he doubted the Dark Lord would take time to check the memory of sex, better that they didn’t take chances.
Returning to the bathroom, Severus watched Potter make ridiculous faces at himself for a moment before he said, “That will be enough for tonight. Dry off and return to your cage.”
As Potter might decide to be difficult, Severus walked over to the sink and, touching the soap, closed his eyes. No matter how many tries this took or what he had to do, he would accomplish this.
When Potter climbed in the bed, Severus slowly undressed, focused on Potter’s back. It had been four days since they’d had sex on the sofa, but he hadn’t forgotten how Potter’s body had clenched him or how he’d screamed his pleasure. The boy’s body grew decidedly more masculine with each passing day, almost to the point where he could be switched with Adam. Maybe now was the time to demand his night of pleasure. He could pretend it was his reward if Potter performed well tomorrow.
Crawling on the bed, he pressed up against Potter’s warm back and traced his fingers up the smooth skin of his firm torso. Although Potter held himself stiffly, his nipple responded to a light flicker, hardening under Severus’s thumb. He’d deny it, but he wanted to be fucked.
Sliding his arm under Potter’s chest, Severus pressed up against him, letting his heavy cock rest against Potter’s lower back. He teased the nipple as he slowly explored Potter’s chest. His breath hitching, his pulse quickening, Potter lay still, feigning disinterest. Severus pulled away the towel, revealing Potter’s cock, which demonstrated his interest. A light brush of fingertips at the head of that growing cock sent a slight jolt through Potter’s body and he sucked in a breath.
Merlin, he smelled good like this. Fresh from the bath and full of desire. Severus licked and nibbled on the soft skin as he slowly stroked the thick length. How long would Potter play disinterested? Would Severus have to bring him to orgasm before he’d surrender?
Potter rubbed back against him, the movement of his body pressing his back against Severus’s cock. He wanted it. Reluctantly releasing Potter, Severus fetched the lube and coated his fingers. After casting the cleaning spell, he pushed his finger inside Potter’s body, only to be met with resistance. His eyes clenched tightly shut, Potter held himself stiffly. Had he decided to make this difficult? Drawing teasing circles on Potter’s inner thigh, Severus slowly slid the finger in and out, but still Potter’s body clenched him too tightly for him ever to fit his cock inside without causing pain.
He’d come too far to stop, but luckily he knew an easy way to make Potter give in. Bending down, he sucked Potter’s dick into his mouth and worked him until he could easily fit two fingers inside of him. Potter gasped with pleasure, his hips rising.
Potter wanted it. Remembering how well Potter had responded to the previous position, Severus slid up alongside of him and held his leg in place as he thrust inside that tight arse. Groaning at the sensation of being filled, Potter gasped, clutching the sheets tightly.
Snaking an arm back under him, Severus clutched him to his chest as he slowly thrust, burying himself completely with each long stroke. Merlin, it felt so good. How much better would it feel to be able to do this for hours? He could spend a whole evening lazily thrusting into Potter’s arse.
Absently, he tasted Potter’s skin, pressing his lips against the heated flesh. Potter’s arse tightened and he thrust harder into that hot channel. What would it feel like to ravage him; to absolutely have his way with him? He could do whatever he wanted as long as he didn’t hurt him or permanently damage him. A world of possibilities existed within those boundaries.
Potter’s fingers tightened over his and he gripped him back, holding him tightly as he fucked him. As much as he wanted to do this for hours, he had to get back to his lab. Releasing Potter’s leg, he wanked him in time to his thrusts and nibbled on his ear.
“Oh god,” moaned Potter as he grabbed Severus’s hip and thrust back against the cock inside of him. Some part of him probably loved being a sex toy. What a better form of training.
“Fuck!” Potter’s body convulsed and tightened and Severus grabbed his hip and fucked him hard, even though it hurt to force his dick through such a tight hole. He came biting at Potter’s neck, tasting him.
As soon as his tremors subsided, he carefully removed himself from Potter’s arse and rested in the afterglow, breathing in the smell of sex and him.
After several minutes of contented rest, Potter said, “You will be there tomorrow?”
“Yes,” Severus promised him. “The Dark Lord and I will accompany you. No one else should be there, although undoubtedly there will be many who will try to gain favour so that they may be permitted to join us.”
“The world will see how high they are in his ranks to be allowed in the vicinity of his most prized prisoner.”
“What will we do if I mess up?”
“But if I do?”
Severus didn’t fear anything that Potter could reveal. At the worst, he’d reveal the plot Severus had hatched with the Dark Lord to gain his confidence. “Then we will pretend you are confused. I do not take unnecessary risks. I would not have suggested this particular scenario unless I was fully confident that we would be able to emerge victorious.”
“Just tell me you have a backup plan,” pleaded Potter.
“Of course I do.” He always did. “I have much more to lose from this plan than you do.”
“The worst that could happen as far as you are concerned is that he will learn you are not broken. The worst that could happen as far as I am concerned is that you will reveal our plans and the Dark Lord will kill me.” Releasing Potter’s fingers, he turned his hand around and pressed it against Potter’s warm one. “Do I feel nervous to you?”
He couldn’t resist teasing, “Aren’t Gryffindors supposed to be courageous? Don’t tell me you are scared.”
“Oi!” Potter sat upright. “I’m not scared. I’m just wondering what we are going to do if I mess up. If they ask a yes-or-no question-”
“They won’t.” Breathing out, Severus rolled onto his back. Even if they did, it didn’t matter. “They have a limited amount of time and will not want to ask dead-end questions. I can always use Langlock on you if it is needed.”
“Why don’t you give me a potion that counteracts the effects of Veritaserum ahead of time?”
“They might expect that and test for it. We want to completely convince them of your slavery. It is imperative that you and I are the only ones who know that you are anything other than a brainwashed slave.”
Potter seemed to consider this. After a moment’s reflection, he asked, “So then what happens? Once we pass the test.”
Summoning his wand, Severus cast the cleaning spells. “It is best not to plan too far ahead. We shall see if this test will be enough to convince the Dark Lord. If not, then I will devise other ways for you to prove yourself to him.” He needed to brew. He dressed.
“Your back...” Fingertips brushed against the scar on Severus’s back. “Why hasn’t it healed? Did I not put enough healing potion on it?”
Standing, Severus pulled on his tee shirt. “My body does not heal as quickly as yours and I did not continue the treatment as long as I should have.”
Absently, Severus answered, “What is one more scar amongst many?” as he continued dressing.
Potter sat quietly for another minute, then suddenly jumped to his feet. Severus grabbed his wand and searched for the source of attack.
“Are they going to take pictures of me?”
Oh. Nothing threatened them. “I assume so.”
“Can I wear clothes?” he begged. “I don’t want them to take pictures of me while I’m naked.”
If it were up to him, Potter would remain dressed, but he had no idea what the Dark Lord preferred. “I will see what I can do. Sleep now. We shall return to training after the interview tomorrow.”
Tomorrow he’d take his reward.